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IRENA applauds Oman’s green energy accomplishments

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ABU DHABI: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has welcomed efforts by the Sultanate of Oman to transition away from fossil-fuels for its energy requirements towards a sustainable energy future based on renewable energy resources.

A top official of the UAE-headquartered intergovernmental organization underlined the important strides that the Omani government has made in promoting the adoption of renewable and sustainable energy resources.

Gauri Singh (pictured), Deputy Director General – IRENA, said: “Within the framework of Oman's 2040 Vision, coupled with the efforts of the Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR), the Sultanate of Oman has devised a policy of moving towards alternative energy sources, with a utilization rate that will increase to 39 per cent by 2040.”

Oman is a member of IRENA, an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation.

Speaking at a media briefing on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) last week, Singh also commended Oman on its policies designed to attract foreign investments into the power sector.

“With the intention of liberalizing the electricity market and luring in additional investments, it has a direct market for power sales in the Middle East. It also started the 500-megawatt Ibri Solar Project, which is its biggest renewable energy project in Oman,” she stated.

Another natural resource that Oman has tapped is wind energy, Singh noted. A 50 MW capacity wind farm, operating in the south of the country, is the first of its kind in the area to generate power from wind energy, she said.

The IRENA official also congratulated the Sultanate of Oman on its commendable ranking in the region for the high standard of its regulation of the renewable and sustainable energy sector. The ‘Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE), a World Bank initiative to help policymakers to compare national policy frameworks for sustainable energy and identify opportunities to attract investment, had recently rated Oman’s regulatory standards as the best in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

“The Sultanate of Oman's accomplishment of advanced outcomes in the sustainable energy regulatory indicators is a sign that it is making progress toward one of the most significant goals of the "Oman 2040" Vision, which is the aim of global competitiveness. It also reflects favorably on the current regulatory and policy frameworks. This will help to draw investments in the energy sector-related areas,” the official stated.

Referring to Oman’s ambitious green hydrogen strategy, IRENA’s Deputy Director-General also underscored the important role that Oman’s well-developed port and maritime infrastructure will play in the export of green ammonia to international markets.

“The significant factor is that the ports of the Sultanate of Oman have experienced qualitative changes in development that have significantly aided in the state's recent commercial and economic renaissance. Rather than serving as isolated hubs for maritime and freight transportation, the ports have evolved into integral parts of the nation's overall economic system whose function extends beyond logistics services. Additionally, through the free zones connected to the ports, it has created a comprehensive environment for business development and expansion,” she said.

All three major Omani ports at Suhar, Duqm and Salalah are being eyed as export gateways for green hydrogen derivatives, chiefly green ammonia, when major green energy projects come on stream starting from 2030.

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